Next Door

By
April of my 6th grade year
A new family moved in next door
I’ve watched them and studied them
Quite observantly
Kids to school at 7:30
Mom in and out all day
Kids home at 3 o’clock
Dad home a 6
A traditional family routine for a normal family
The type I only dream to have
But in between I see them
From window to window I watch
They may appear perfectly happy, so content
But in the privacy of their own home
They complain and fight almost nonstop

September of my 7th grade year
The routine continues on and on
And from window to window I watch
Their arguments pick up speed
The family torn apart
But they don’t hear how silly they sound
They fight over losing things
That most people never had in the first place
They take everything they have for granted
If only they would look back through the window
And see what I see

June of my 7th grade year
From window to window I watch
The smell of summer fills the air
And it puts smiles on their faces
They put their problems on hold
Because they can
They don’t realize that some problems won’t go away
Just because you stop paying attention to them

October of my 8th grade year
From window to window, I don’t have time to watch
My own problems are brewing
My mom is sick, very sick
My world shattered and the pieces lost
As I cry myself to sleep
I decide to take another look
From window to window I watch
I see them complaining and arguing as usual
About all the things that don’t matter
I wish I could tell them, to help them
If only they knew how lucky they are
Yet they talk and act as if it’s not enough

April of my 9th grade year
Three years have now past
Since that family moved in next door
Three years gone, and they took my mom with them
From window to window I watch one last time
And when I do, I can’t believe what I see
A lesson learned before my eyes
It’s the same family that moved in three years ago
But by the way they’re acting now
I would never recognize them
They still have their problems
But something is different now
They cherish what they have
And realize that it is enough
It’s a side of them revealed for the very first time
They’ve grown closer and stronger
Their broken bond mended
And I feel that my work here is done
It’s as if they’ve looked back through the window
And seen what I saw.





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